What’s the real TCO of rugged versus consumer devices?

What’s the real TCO of rugged versus consumer devices?

Consumer devices gained huge popularity for commercial use. The convenience of compact, easy-to-use smartphones and tablets is alluring, because the user’s familiarity provides a seamless transition to workplace and when compared to rugged devices, the price of the consumer version makes it even more tempting to choose this option.

But, the initial purchase price represents a very small portion of your total cost of ownership.
Let’s have a look at the actual costs.

Consumer devices aren’t designed to withstand a harsh environments, like field work, construction or manufacturing. The average lifespan 6 to 18 months and if consumer device keeps working after a 12 month period, it will become very slow with battery issues. Then you have to pay higher replacement costs, when rugged device last on average 3-5 years.

 

5 Year device costs (Per ONE User)

Smartphone

In this sample I’ll be using average cost for both consumer and rugged device.

In normal environment

C$0 3 consumer smartphones (18 Month lifecycle) – @~C$900 each
C$0 2 rugged smartphones (3 Year lifecycle) – @~C$999

In harsh environment

C$0 10 consumer smartphones (6 Month lifecycle) – @~C$900 each
C$0 2 rugged smartphones (3 Year lifecycle) – @~C$999

Tablet

In this sample I’ll be using cheapest Microsoft Surface VS the most expensive Rugged tablet Industrial One has to offer, so please consider performance difference.

In normal environment

C$0 5 consumer tablets (12 Month lifecycle) – @~C$699 each
C$0 1 rugged tablet (5+ Years lifecycle)

In harsh environment

C$0 15 consumer tablets (4 Month lifecycle) – @~C$699 each
C$0 1 rugged tablet (5+ Years lifecycle)

This initial cost of consumer device doesn’t include the cost of accessories, at minimum a rugged case and a screen protector

Please note, that I’m not counting the costs of specific accessories and options like barcode scanners, MSR, MRZ, RFID and so on, that 90% of consumer devices cannot even offer.

5 Year device costs

Smartphone

In normal environment

C$0 3 consumer smartphones (18 Month lifecycle) – @~C$900 each
+ 3 Cases @~C$70 each and at least 3 screen protectors @~C$40 each

In harsh environment

C$0 10 consumer smartphones (6 Month lifecycle) – @~C$900 each
at least 5 cases @~C$70 each and at least 10 screen protectors @~C$40 each

Tablet

In normal environment

C$0 5 consumer tablets (12 Month lifecycle) – @~C$699 each
+ 5 cases @~C$100 each and at least 5 screen protectors @~C$40 each

In harsh environment

C$0 15 consumer tablets (4 Month lifecycle) – @~C$699 each
+ at least 5 cases @~C$100 each and at least 15 screen protectors @~C$40 each

Next, we have to consider the cost to service and support the consumer devices. With the higher Failure rate, expect your IT team to invest more time (=Money) in troubleshooting and servicing consumer devices, including data recovery and data migration. We also need to consider that consumer devices are frequently updated and earlier versions aren’t necessarily supported, so the consumer device becomes obsolete faster than the rugged device.

In addition, the downtime that results from device failure adds indirect cost to the TCO. Average service cost for a consumer device in an enterprise environment is C$950, versus C$280 for the rugged device.

5 Year device costs

Smartphone

In normal environment

C$0 3 consumer smartphones (18 Month lifecycle) – @~C$900 each
+ Cases C$210 + Screen protectors C$120 + Service @ C$950 per device = C$3180
C$0 2 rugged smartphones (3 Year lifecycle) – @~C$999
+ Service @ C$280 per device = C$560

In harsh environment

C$0 10 consumer smartphones (6 Month lifecycle) – @~C$900 each
+ at least 5 cases C$350 + at least 10 screen protectors C$400 + Service @ C$950 per device = C$10250
C$0 2 rugged smartphones (3 Year lifecycle) – @~C$999
+ Service @ C$280 per device = C$560

Tablet

In normal environment

C$0 5 consumer tablets (12 Month lifecycle) – @~C$699 each
+ 5 cases C$500 + at least 5 screen protectors C$200 + Service @ C$950 per device = 5450
C$0 1 rugged tablet (5+ Years lifecycle)
+ Service @ C$950 per device = C$950

In harsh environment

C$0 15 consumer tablets (4 Month lifecycle) – @~C$699 each
+ at least 5 cases C$500 + at least 15 screen protectors C$600 + Service @ C$950 per device = 15350
C$0 1 rugged tablet (5+ Years lifecycle)
+ Service @ C$950 per device = C$950

Finally, multiply these costs by the number of units you need to support in your organization, including the spare pool for replacement. The TCO gap becomes a great divide if you deploy 100 devices.

5 Year TCO of 100 devices in the organization

100 Smartphones

In normal environment

C$0 Consumer smartphones
C$0 Rugged smartphones
0 Difference

In harsh environment

C$0 Consumer smartphones
C$0 Rugged smartphones
0 Difference

100 Tablets

In normal environment

C$0 Consumer tablets
C$0 Rugged tablets
0 Difference

In harsh environment

C$0 Consumer tablets
C$0 Rugged tablets
0 Difference
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